Trump's Decision to Appoint Breitbart's Steve Bannon as Top Strategist Sparks Backlash
Donald Trump’s appointment of ex-Breitbart news chairman Stephen Bannon as chief strategist has drawn outrage with the Anti-Defamation League, which has accused him of being “hostile to core American values."
Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO and national director of the ADL, tweeted a lengthy message against Bannon, saying “it is a sad day” when the president-elect appoints someone who has aligned himself with white nationalists, anti-Semites and racists.
In the past, Bannon’s ex-wife accused him of being anti-Semitic in court documents when she filed for divorce in 2007.
According to Mary Louise Piccard, he did not want their children attending the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles because of the large Jewish enrollment at the school.
"He said that he doesn't like the way they raise their kids to be 'whiny brats' and that he didn't want the girls going to school with Jews," Piccard wrote in her 2007 court declaration.
Following the announcement that he would be Trump's chief strategist, the Huffington Post ran the headline: "White Nationalist in the White House."
Bannon’s relationship with his ex-wife was splashed into the headlines in August when he was appointed the head of Trump’s campaign.
Piccard claimed Bannon grabbed her 'by the throat and arm’ and screamed at her during a fight on New Year’s Day 1996.
Bannon was charged with domestic violence and pled not guilty.
According to The New York Times, the case was dropped when she failed to show up in court, which Piccard claimed was because of threats from Bannon's lawyer, whom she accused of telling her she "would have no money and no way to support their children" if she went to jail.
Bannon's divorce lawyer denied he pressured her against testifying. He told The Times: "It's possible that Steve Bannon said that to her but I did not."
Piccard’s domestic abuse claims go on to say that Bannon threatened to "take the girls and leave” referring to the couple's twin daughters.
The divorce documents also contain shocking allegations that Bannon would only marry Piccard, who was pregnant at the time, if the twins she was carrying were “normal.”
Piccard claims in the divorce papers: “Bannon made it clear that he would not marry me just because I was pregnant. I was scheduled for an amniocentesis and was told by the respondent that if the babies were normal we would get married.”
The couple wed on April 15, 1995, 3 days before the birth of the twins.
Despite the claims in the divorce papers, a spokesperson for Bannon said he “has a great relationship with his ex-wife."
The 62-year-old is a Harvard Business School grad and once worked as a banker at Goldman Sachs. In 1990, he left the banking giant and started his own company, Bannon & Co., which has a stake in five television shows, including Seinfeld.